Gah, finally got around to updating this thing. Apologies readers for the laxity in posting, but over the last week I have been either too busy (Attending the Model Expo and IPMS National comp, and the big bookfair on Saturday and Sunday), too tired (Sunday and Monday nights, recovering from the weekend), or too sick (sprained my ankle at netball on Monday night, possibly due to the tiredness combined with still breaking in new shoes, came down with some kind of wierd bug on Tuesday, aches, chills, fever, complete lack of energy etc, which I have only just shaken off today).
So thats the last week in a paragraph then.
As far as the increasingly intense triple build got, after a near all nighter on Friday (I only stopped at 4am when I started to get double vision from the fatigue), the three models looked like this on Saturday Morning at about 0930 (note beautiful early morning sunlight creeping across the table. You'll have to imagine the birdsong, we have a couple of Tui resident in our backyard amongst others). As usual, all pictures can hopefully be biggified by use of the clicky clicky:
Commensurate with the progress, the waste bin looked something like this:
An hour later the models were on the table at the show with their siblings, going on to pick up 2nd place in the 'collections' class in the National competition (admittedly at that level there were only two entries. Those pesky tanks in front of my jets took out 1st).
So here is the terrible trio, fashioned from the anonymous bits of plastic I posted a few weeks ago here (link). These are all in 1/72 scale, meaning if you lined up 72 of the models end to end the line would be as long as the real thing.
First up is TA-4K NZ6251, as it would have looked in the spring of 1970 a few months after entering service. The colour scheme is essentially the same as that used by land based US aircraft during the Vietnam war, which given these were US built aircraft purchased in the middle of that war isn't surprising. The tan and two greens scheme is known as SEA (South East Asia) in shorthand. This era predates slightly the classic Kiwi roundel people might be familiar with. At the time a silver fern roundel was in use. Twin seaters at the time didn't carry squadron markings, as they were rotated between two squadrons (75 and 14) as required. Under each wing the model has a 300gal fuel tank and a unguided rocket pod, with and empty bomb rack under the fuselage.
Second is A-4K Kahu NZ6218 as it would have looked around 1995 or so. The paint scheme was changed around 1985 or so to a grey and greens scheme known as 'Lizard' or 'Euro 1' (likely since it was developed for US aircraft operating in Europe) This was after a major upgrade to the fleet to extend their usefulness, and in addition to the different paint scheme, also has a bunch of aerials not seen on the earlier model, as well as the ability to carry more sophisticated weapons. The model has a Sidewinder air-to-air missile (grey) and a Maverick air-to-ground missile (green) under each wing, with a fuel tank on the centreline.
And finally, the last of the trio represents the fleet as they are now, covered in a spray-on latex/plastic protective coating after being retired in 2001, and moved to outdoor storage in 2007. This one doesn't have an identity as it represents the whole fleet. It was a big hit at the show, and I got a lot of postive feedback from it. Some suggested it should known as 'The Helen Clark Scheme', which while good for a cheap laugh, ignores the fact that by now the jets would look like this anyway, politics aside. If they hadn't been retired in 2001 they would have had to be grounded by 2007 or so (at the latest) anyway for technical reasons (they were originally scheduled to be replaced by F-16's in 2000). I modelled this scheme more as a joke and for fun than to make any political statement. That and it is about the easiest paint scheme I've ever done.
With the three new additions, their particular section of the shelf is now looking rather crowded...
Meanwhile, in other show news, this was my first time competing as an IPMS (International Plastic Modeller's Society, or as Fi and Kirsten put it 'International People who Make Stuff') member rather than a 'civilian' (for lack of a better term) as I entered the same event two years ago (linky).
This time around I was eligible to enter stuff for the National competition as well as the general show competition.
There was some excellent talent on display, and while I had quiet hopes for a couple of entries, didn't really expect to come away with any results.
So I was kinda thrilled when I scored a few placings at the National level, plus another for the more general comp. I had about half a dozen entries that didn't place (including a couple that I thought were better than some of my stuff that did place). I'm not sure if the relatively small size of the competition had any bearing on the results, but they are what they are, and I'm happy to take them and run!
Biggest result was the Hustler I blogged about a little while ago (link) picking up 2nd in its class, with another of my models (the slightly out of focus F-105 at the bottom of the shot) picking up 3rd. I'm still getting used to the notion that I just placed 2nd and 3rd in a National competition. For my first serious entry its kinda trippy.
Doesn't mean I am necessarily 2nd or 3rd best in the country in this scale class, but I am 2nd and 3rd best of those who turned up for the comp in 2009. If you don't enter you can't win....
Gaining a 'Highly Commended' (de facto fourth I think) in one of the General show classes was this Hunter model I built for my father a few years ago. The particular subject of the model has a connection to dad, and the backstory made for a nice display (as well as the custom built case) that also got people's attention. As a club member I worked the shoe on both days (basically attending a model table, answering questions and making sure nothing got broken), and it was quite interesting watching the public check out the various displays.
I took this MiG 25 that I built several years ago to the show on a whim to help make up the numbers. I was quite surprised when it got a 3rd placing in one of the general show categories.
Also taken to the show on a whim was this P-47 Thunderbolt, which gained a 2nd in class in the National competition, which was a surprise since I thought I had registered it in the general section....
And as I mentioned earlier, the Skyhawks gained a collective 2nd in class at the national level as well.
So yeah, still not quite sure to make of all this, other than it feels pretty good :)